- "Another man's evil does not make you good."
- ―Father Lantom to Matt Murdock
Father Lantom is a priest in a church in New York City who offers moral guidance and confession to those who come to him, including Matt Murdock, whose identity as Daredevil he identified and kept secret.
Charity Work Overseas
As a young preacher, Lantom perceived himself to be more skeptical than many others in his faith, and would often debate his peers. He contended that the devil was inconsequential, as he translated the Hebrew word for Satan as "adversary", of which everyone had their own, rather than a single bringer of evil.
Years later however, while overseas in Rwanda trying to help local churches provide food and care for the people, he became friends with a village elder named Gahiji. Lantom witnessed local gangs murdering their neighbours, but none would raise their swords to Gahiji. When soldiers were sent to execute him, none of them wanted to kill him. The commander arranged to met Gahiji, only to brutally murder him and his entire family in front of his village. When Lantom witnessed this, he knew he had seen the devil in that man's eyes.
Speaking with Matthew Murdock
- "Perhaps this would be easier if you told me what you've done."
"I'm not seeking penance for what I've done, Father. I'm asking forgiveness, for what I'm about to do."
"That's not how this works. What exactly are you going to do?"
- ―Father Lantom speaks to Matt Murdock
While listening to confessions in his church, Lantom was visited by a blind Catholic named Matt Murdock. Murdock spoke to him about his past and his father, who was a boxer who was known for not ever backing down from a fight. Seeing that Murdock was not telling him what he had done that needed to be confessed, Murdock however told him that he was not seeking forgiveness for what he had done, but instead was asking forgiveness for what he was about to do.
A few days later, Lantom found Murdock sitting outside his church with bruises on his face. Lantom sat with Murdock and told him that he knew he was Jack Murdock's son. He assured him that through the seal of the confession booth he was sworn never to tell anyone what Murdock had spoken to him about. When Murdock told him that he had to get to work, Lantom told him about the new coffee maker that had been donated to the church and offered to make him a Latte so they could have a chance to talk; Murdock however turned down the offer.
Early Morning Latte
- "Do you believe in the devil father?"
"You mean as a concept?"
"No, do you believe he exists, in this world, among us?"
- ―Matt Murdock and Lantom
As Lantom arrived at his church, he found Matt Murdock once again sitting outside waiting; this time however Murdock accepted his offer for a latte. When inside, Murdock asked Lantom if he believed in the devil, not just as a concept, but as a figure among them. Lantom chose to tell Murdock the tale of the murder of Gahiji and how he had seen the devil in the eyes of the man who had killed him. Murdock asked him what he would have done if he could have stopped him hurting anyone, but refused to explain what exactly he meant.
While sitting in the church and looking at a statue of Jesus Christ, Lantom was visited by Matt Murdock who was once again seeking moral guidance. Lantom spoke about his relationship with Jesus before asking Murdock if he had done anything foolish after their talk. Murdock told him that he had been to visit someone close to the devil and had learned that he had someone he loved and who loved him. Lantom tried to convince Murdock to leave the judgement and punishment to God as he believed murder was not in his heart. They were interrupted when Foggy Nelson called Murdock, but he ignored the call. Murdock argued that although his soul was damned if he killed the man, he could not stand back and watch as the devil destroyed his city. Lantom suggested that Murdock's struggle was not that he needed to kill the devil, but that he wanted to and did not have to.
The Devil Within Murdock
- "And how do you know that the devil and the angels inside me aren't the same thing?"
"I don't, but nothing drives people to the church faster than the thought of the devil snapping at their heels."
- ―Matt Murdock and Lantom
Lantom found Matt Murdock waiting for him in his church, this time with noticeable injuries. Lantom offered Murdock confession or Latte, but he refused both. Murdock revealed that he did not kill the man they had discussed earlier although he make an attempt; he said a friend of his had told him if he continued the work he was doing he would end up bloody and alone. Lantom revealed that he knew that Murdock was indeed the man in the mask who was attacking criminals at night, though he did not know how he did it. Murdock asked why God had put the devil within him and they discussed what the devil actually represented.
Ben Urich's Funeral
- "How are you holding up?"
"Like a good Catholic boy."
"That bad huh?"
- ―Lantom and Matt Murdock
Ben Urich was discovered dead in his home having been murdered; Lantom held a funeral service for him which was attended by Matt Murdock. After the service Lantom approached Murdock and asked how he was holding up after the death of his friend; Murdock made it clear that he felt responsible for Urich's death as he had failed to stop Wilson Fisk.
- "A whole world's been lost and others are dying one after the other Matthew, what are you looking for?"
"For what? Uh not doing more? You just said you did everything you could. If you're the man I understand you to be, I'm sure that's true. Then why do I still feel guilty? Guilt can be a good thing. It's the soul's call to action. The indication that something is wrong. The only way to rid your heart of it is to correct your mistakes and keep going until amends are made. I don't know what you didn't do or what you should have done but the guilt the guilt means your work is not yet finished."
- ―Lantom and Matt Murdock
A few months later, Father Lantom presided over the funeral of Grotto, a driver in the Kitchen Irish who was briefly a client of Nelson and Murdock, but who was killed by the Punisher for his murder of an old lady who was in the apartment of another man he killed. Lantom provided over his service, which was attended only by Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson and Karen Page. In his eulogy, Lantom described Grotto as a man who was looking for redemption, but kept making the wrong choices.
After Nelson and Page left the church to return to the office, Murdock stayed behind. He told Lantom of the guilt he felt over not being able to save Grotto's life. Lantom counseled him that guilt could be a good thing, a soul's call to action. He suggested to Murdock that the guilt he felt meant that his work was not yet finished.
Three days after his last confession, Matt Murdock came to Lantom to tell him he had lied to Karen Page that he was not missing his life as Daredevil. Lantom encouraged him to open his heart for God to help him, even if his heart was damaged as Mudrock claimed. He then asked him if he missed the life or did he miss Elektra. Murdock said that maybe she would accept his new life or she would say he abandoned it. Lantom said to him that he needed to let her go and he prayed he would find his peace.
In chronological order:
- The Defenders
- In the comics, Father Lantom is assigned to the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, and once refuged Runaways inside the Cathedral.
Behind the Scenes
- Series writer Ruth Fletcher Gage called Lantom "almost Matt's therapist. He was used in a lot of different ways. We wanted him to be someone who would actually discuss the things Matt brought to him."
- Writer Christos Gage added, "Father Lantom really was supposed to be a catalyst to force Matt to question his own view on things and his own feelings about what he was going to do."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Daredevil: 1.09: Speak of the Devil
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.01: Into the Ring
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.03: Rabbit in a Snowstorm
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.11: The Path of the Righteous
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.13: Daredevil
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.04: Penny and Dime
- ↑ The Defenders: 1.01: The H Word
- ↑ http://www.cbr.com/lbcc-cast-writers-reflect-on-the-psychology-of-daredevil/